Book Spotlight – The First 28: A Black Woman’s Journal for Navigating the First 28 Days After Losing her Spouse – Margo Thomas

BIO: Margo Thomas has published four books: two are related to preparing for college, one is a short fiction story about the consequences of sin, and her recent work is a grief journal to help black women who have lost their spouses get through the pain and chaos of the first month. Margo lost her husband, Byron in October 2021. After a year of “firsts”, she is searching for different ways to make her grief journey more bearable.

Blurb: “Till death do us part.” When we get married, we often recite these words, hoping that we never experience such a loss. We plan our lives together, looking forward to the time when we can retire and enjoy the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, death is inevitable. At some point, one of us will leave this earth, leaving the other behind to pick up the pieces of a broken heart. Most black women are taught to be strong; the person everyone else can rely on during moments of distress, but what happens when your world has shattered? Who can you rely on when you have lost your lover and best friend? Who do you turn to when it seems as if nobody truly understands your pain? This journal will help you navigate your first month of grief when you are alone, with only your thoughts, your fears, and your tears.

Which five words best describe The First 28: A Black Woman’s Journal for Navigating the First 28 Days After Losing her Spouse? ~ Black women navigating grief

Can you share one highlight from the book? ~ As black women, we are taught to be strong for everyone else, sometimes to the detriment of our own well-being. I had to maintain my strength while my husband was battling cancer because he needed me to be strong then. A friend told me recently that I didn’t need to be strong for everyone else. My response was that I wasn’t trying to be strong for anyone else, I was trying to be strong for me. I understood that while falling apart may have felt justified, I did not want to be so overcome by grief that I could not shake it off.

What is the purpose of this book?

I wrote this journal to help black women navigate their grief during the first month after losing a spouse. We are always taught to be strong, but sometimes we need to lean on our support system. I know the first few days after losing a spouse are stressful. There is so much that needs to be done, but your focus is off. I wanted to share my experiences and some of the tools I used to help me process the loss of my husband.

Are there themes that you find turn up again and again in your work? A common thread?

With the grief, I have been working on a few additional projects I believe will be beneficial for others who are grieving. I suppose that will be the common thread with these projects.

Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write? Which part was the hardest?

Since this is not a book of fiction, I will say that it wasn’t really fun to write. Telling bits and pieces of my story was hard, but It has helped me to face the pain.

Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?

I have a love for street art and I enjoy capturing pictures near them.

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